Greedy Goblin

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Business or gambling?

I got record amount of comments on the post about my pricing method. Most of them go along the line "It wouldn't work on my server", claiming that their method are superior, despite the poor results compared to mine. Of course the limited success is caused by "bad server". (everything above daily G/hour is success just in different amounts)

So I'm making continued effort to analyze the QA2-undercutting strategy, trying to prove that the strategy is naturally flawed and necessarily provide poor results.

Let's state the obvious: if some NPC would buy glyphs for 50G, than every living body would be crafting glyphs and selling to him (assuming that herbs are available at their current price). It's also obvious that the glyph buyers are not NPCs, and won't buy that many. In economy terms: for 40-50G the supply is vastly bigger than the demand. The QA2 wizards handle this problem by 1c undercutting. If your glyph is the cheapest it is the one that's sold and the others are not.

When you undercut an 50G glyph by 1c (or post a glyph for 50G on an empty market), you are actually gambling. You place a bet that a buyer will arrive first and not a competitor. If buyer comes, your glyph sells and you get huge profit. If competitor comes, you won't sell and your glyph returns or you are forced to undercut, so you lost some worktime.

As in every gambling action your odds can be calculated. It is exactly: demand * your_cycles / competitor_cycles. Demand is the number of glyphs sold daily, your_cycles is the number of times you check the AH for cancel-repost, competitor_cycles is obvious. If you double your cycle number, your profit will double. If you put your competitor to friend list, and post after their logoff, you not only added one to your own cycles, but decreasing one of theirs. If you are online 24/7 and have everyone on friend list, you can instantly undercut, therefore own the whole market.

So in the QA2-undecutting game your only choice to increase your sells is camping harder. If everyone else plays QA2-undercuts, sells=profit as price is high.

My pricing is giving higher gold/hour active time and also allows me to batch my work. I don't have to camp the AH, I can assign time to my actions when I want to, with the only restriction to be within 48 hours. It is important to notice that a QA2-undercutter makes more gold than I do on the same market, however at the cost of much more time online and the (hardly quantifyable) "must check the AH every hour" unpleasant condition.

At first I use Auctioneer to determine market price. Many people claim that market price have no meaning. Actually it has: it holds the competitor activity. Price reset can happen when the buyers consumed all of the competition's glyphs. This case you can cancel yours and repost at 50G (or whatever fallback price) and still be the cheapest. A reset requires that buyers arrive in a row, buying all of them. If one of the competitors arrive before all glyphs are sold, he simply list more at the current price. If there are more competitors, there are more glyphs so it needs more buyers to clear the AH. Since they arrive in a random time, the chance of their random aggregation decreases rapidly with their number needed for a successful reset. If the resets are less frequent, more undercuts happen, so the price slowly climbs down. The market price of 30G means that repost_cycle:reset = 20G/undercut_value.

By using this price I adjust to the number of competitors. The more they are, the lower the price is. My first move is making random resets impossible and forced resets (buying all up) expensive and risky. Remember, if you buy my glyphs up and post at 50G, you may sell nothing before your competitor arrives. This case you lost your buyout gold for nothing. If the competitor number grows, my price lowers, so you have to risk less money to buy me out, but you have less chance to sell before one of the many competitors arrive.

My second move is slowly driving the prices down. Without resets, even with 1c undercuts the price will crawl down. I add my 60s undercut value to this. I can easily drive a 50G price into the mud in two weeks using only automated processes.

Why is it good for me? Because there are two possibilities:
  • the competitor gives it up, abandons that glyph (by having a higher threshold or simply by leaving the market). This case I post a bit higher automatically and have 5-8G profit on a glyph.
  • the competitor keeps undercutting, this case I sell nothing, so I don't have to craft, so I don't waste time.
I either have a nice profit or no work. That guarantees my sky-high gold/hour. The only case when I sell for 3-4G is the one session when the competitor gives it up. My glyphs are out, and with the competition gone, are the cheapest so sold. That is the only time I suck. But next time I can post higher (and automatically do) as I'm out of competition.

The point is that until the competitor is there, I'm safe from selling = working.

If the competition is very determined, I'm selling nothing at all, so I have practically 0 workload. Since I keep on decreasing the price with no chance of reset, his profit is closing to 0. There is no way that someone can keep up his determination with no profit, nor even the chance of profit.

You can claim that he can save himself by setting a 5G threshold. That case I will sell for 4.xx G. That's true. However here comes my savior, another QA2 wizard with 4.99 threshold! I've seen such funny threshold-undercut-war many times.

My safety-threshold is applied on crafting. If the price is too low, I stop crafting, but I use the existing glyphs to keep the price low, for the amusement of the competition.

The fundamental fault of the QA2 game is being more work intensive. I lose less time by selling for low than my competitors, so I can go deeper in price. My work-overhead is decreased by batching. Logging on 10 times a day cost time itself along with the annoyment. Me on the other hand can schedule the crafting session to the moment when it's less painful and have enough offline stuff available to decrease time lost.

By driving the price to the point where supply = demand, I have a stable business (as opposed to gambling) and I can decide if I want that business. If I don't I don't craft glyphs. Of course if the prices would reset in my absence, next time I post again, at the old market price, destroying the effect of reset. So I can set my crafting threshold to an arbitrarily high price (currently 6G) and still sell, simply by making the QA2 game so time-ineffective that all my competitors give it up sooner or later.

The only one dangerous to my scheme is my mirror image. This case we'd automatically share the market according to our crafting threshold. If I posted a glyph for low profit, he won't craft, and won't post, mine sell. If he did it, his sell. Our G/hour will be equal to the G/hour expectation of the one who is ready to work cheaper. If he needs gold more than I do and ready to work for less G/hour, he can make me not sell. However he can't drive me out or elevate his G/hour since I'd immediately start crafting and selling. My standby workload (relisting every 48 hours) is close to 0.

Your only real resources are time and skill. If we assume that 2 goblins use the optimal strategy, we arrive to the point that only time spent on business makes difference between them. If everyone would be an AH goblin, everyone in the server would have equal G/hour. My 3-4K G/hour (active time hours, excluding long auctioneer posting or clicking the mailbox once a minute while cleaning my home) comes from the fact that most people have no idea about economics and only do what MMO-champion tells them.

The aim when fighting with QA2 wizards is not stopping them from selling. You can't do that anyway without being one of them. The point is to stop yourself from selling while making everyone else sell at loss, making them leave. I usually do my glyph listing at the morning or early afternoon, to make sure that the QA2 wizards have enough time undercutting me before the buyers come in the evening.

One more tip: if the "pro ppl" are already selling below material cost, buy them out. Not to cause a reset, but to make them craft more, therefore driving them deeper in loss. As they craft, they not only wasting time, but driving herb prices up, making it harder for themselves to craft more. You can just sell the bought glyphs later. Just don't do it with leveling glyphs.

PS: it's funny that whenever I post something "philosophical", people comment "go back to WoW". When I post something as direct as it can be, they simply don't believe it or blame luck for my G/hour.

PS2: There are some clueless who claim that since they don't undercut by 1c, they are different from other QA2 wizards. The defining characteristic is the undercut-fallback cycle. If a QA2 wizard finds the market empty, he posts on an arbitrary high fallback price, while I post on old market price +25%. He welcomes undercutters back, I don't.

PS3: QA2 became famous back in the day when most servers had no or just 1-2 sellers. Nowadays (thanks to MMO champion) there are dozens on every servers. Most of them are desperate kids who put all their gold into starting an industry, so they will waste all the time they have (and they have a lot) to undercut you. You could make good money with QA2 back then. Now, when everyone else does the same, you have to beat the trend to win.

136 comments:

Shiko said...

you clearly didnt understand the comments people left on the previous post. You seem to assume that QA only allows 1c undercuts, which is clearly wrong, I currently undercut by 40s.
My fallback is 25g and my threshold is 3g.
I still don't understand how Auctioneer is superior since we're doing the same thing.
As for the "It wouldn't work on my server". Some people struggle with relentless undercutters who will stay online 17-20 hours a day, post 1 glyph at a time and undercut you by 1 copper as soon as you post. I'd love to see you explain how to deal with those people. (when I say 17-20 hours a day in no way am I exagerating)

Shiko said...

To clear up my previous post, How exactly is having a 60s undercut and a 20g fallback in QA2 ANY different than what you're doing with Auctioneer.

Anonymous said...

@Shiko: Median price

Mundy said...

The only difference between your Auctioneer setup and some people's QA2 setup seems to be that their thresholds are manually set to a static amount while yours is set automatically to a dynamic value that adjusts much quicker to change in the market.

A difference which doesn't seem to be a big deal (to me at least).

Iiene of Kul Tiras said...

What a load of shit.

I have it on good authority (Well ok, a poster here) that you posted glyphs at less than 3 gold all the time:

"The only case when I sell for 3-4G is the one session when the competitor gives it up. My glyphs are out, and with the competition gone, are the cheapest so sold. That is the only time I suck. But next time I can post higher (and automatically do) as I'm out of competition."

Wait.. That makes NO FREAKING SENSE. Dude! Learn english!

Then we have...
"My second move is slowly driving the prices down. Without resets, even with 1c undercuts the price will crawl down. I add my 60s undercut value to this. I can easily drive a 50G price into the mud in two weeks using only automated processes."

TWO WEEKS? TWO WEEKS? No... We are not idiots. You can drive a 50 gold price into the ground in 2 minutes. Whoop! New price is 5 gold! Done.

Ooo! 5 gold threshold!
"You can claim that he can save himself by setting a 5G threshold. That case I will sell for 4.xx G. That's true. However here comes my savior, another QA2 wizard with 4.99 threshold! I've seen such funny threshold-undercut-war many times."

Personally... I can't remember when I had a 5 gold threshold. Ok.. I can, but it was a while ago.

What?
"The fundamental fault of the QA2 game is being more work intensive. I lose less time by selling for low than my competitors, so I can go deeper in price"

That's absurd. You spend more time in ONE POSTING than a QA2 guy does in 5. Why? First... your tool is slow as hell. Second, you have to scan the AH. Third... Yeah... your tool is slow as hell. Dude, it's THAT SLOW.

Hey! Let's talk about actual time...
"My 3-4K G/hour (active time hours, excluding long auctioneer posting or clicking the mailbox once a minute while cleaning my home)"

Woo! Aren't you AWESOME! Since you're 'doing something else'... that time is FREE! No it ain't. You're logged into the game... as such you're focused on doing that task. This is the BIGGEST DODGE EVER. The same as a farmer claiming that the "Mats are free because I farmed them"

Olga said...

You said, that by using median price you determine the competition on the glyph. Let's assume that there're some scribes on the server that learned all glyphs and play the same way - then you have exactly even competition on every glyph. There must be another reason for prices to vary.
So maybe it's better to assume that market price determines the demand on the glyph - the more people buys the glyph, the less glyphs keep price low staying unsold. But again, with high competition there's no reason in different prices, as raw mats costs are equal.
Again, i want to see how your strategy is different from 3g threshold, 10g fallback, 40s undercut.

Shiko said...

@anonymous assuming the median price for Glyph X is 12g, and the highest price on AH is 18g, will he put the glyph for 12g or 17g30s?

Azzur said...

Shiko, the main point Gevlon is making is that Auctioneer posts based on the "median" price, while QA2 undercuts the "lowest" price.

Although, Gevlon doesn't explain his ideas well since he still believes that people using QA2 are the 1c undercut "pro noobs". I'm not 100% if Gevlon has explored all the options available to QA2 (threshold and fallback).

What I am amused is that Gevlon has this urge to be "right" (i.e. that QA2 is a flawed tool). It has been proven by many people QA2 works but because Gevlon doesn't use that method, he believes it to be false.

I'll imagine that if Gevlon started with QA2, he'll be talking about Auctioneer being flawed!

I thought that a true "Goblin" would be immune from this neccessity to be "right".

In the end of the day, both tools are slightly different but they produce solid results. To use a WoW analogy: There are many viable (by viable I mean hard-mode capable) healing styles. In the end, choose the one that you like best. Just because your way works, doesn't mean that the other doesn't.

Gevlon seems to have the impression that Auctioneer is less "work". In reality, the final portion of the process (the posting) is actually the easiet.

The hard (or should I say tedious) part of the glyph industry lies in milling and crafting. Until now, I have not found a non-ToS-violating technique of automating this process.

I once was posting 1000s of glyphs. Now, since I have enough money, I just craft up lots of glyphs in one sitting and sell them over 2-3 weeks.

I couldn't keep up with the mass-crafting for longer than a couple of weeks (whether using Auctioneer or QA2). I really respect the dedication a lot of people have put into their industry.

Shiko said...

@liene
wow first time I actually agree with you about something.

"That's absurd. You spend more time in ONE POSTING than a QA2 guy does in 5. Why? First... your tool is slow as hell. Second, you have to scan the AH. Third... Yeah... your tool is slow as hell. Dude, it's THAT SLOW."

I tried posting 1000 glyphs with batch post once and i think it took over an hour... gave up..

Pr0n said...

From what i understand your an Auctioneer loyalist, because QA2 can do pretty much what you just posted. I cant say for certain because I dont use Auctioneer to post glyphs, I use it mainly for enchanting mats, gems, and other things that i have more then 20 of and i need to post at a "smart" price. Some people will be a QA2 loyalist and say Auctioneer sucks, but what I think we can all agree on with out prejudices to influence us is that QA2 and Auctioneer are addons we all use along with probably several others to make our pricing, auctioneering, and price wars more efficient and quicker. In my opinion It doesnt matter what addon a person uses as long as they are making the amount of gold that they want to for the amount of time and work they want to put into it.

Mundy said...

@Iiene of Kul Tiras regarding time lost

Your comparison isn't the same thing. Gevlon's point is that majority of the work is automated so he can do something else more productive/enjoyable in the same time so that there is very little time lost.

Someone who farms mats loses 100% of their time working (unless of course they have some way to automate it, like botting).

Anonymous said...

@shiko
"I'd love to see you explain how to deal with those people. (when I say 17-20 hours a day in no way am I exagerating)"

Gevlon has explained several times how to deal with those people. Drop prices to the floor. If they keep undercutting you, they are making sales for practically zero profit and must continue to buy herbs, mill, and craft to keep up with the demand. Meanwhile, in this situation, gevlon's work would be to retrieve unsold glyphs from his mailbox every 48 hours.

Take a closer look. The undercutter must perform the most time consuming tasks of a scribe: buying herbs, milling, and crafting/sorting glyphs in order to continue dominating the lower end of the market. Meanwhile, gevlon's workload barely increases as all he has to do is collect unsold glyphs.

Another overlooked aspect of auctioneer is it's ability to completely ignore people who have posted below a certain price, and undercut the next highest competitor. This allows you to participate in a portion of the market that most QA people cannot. They can toggle a setting and post that glyph at their fallback price, but that fallback price is often an unreasonable amount that will never end up being the lowest price for as long as they post it. Meanwhile, auctioneer sets you at the 2nd or 3rd lowest price and you are more likely to get a sale.

The moment QA2 allows you to completely ignore items below a certain price without automatically resorting to the fallback value, I will have to agree that it is the superior tool.

Azzur said...

You know, this QA2 vs Auctioneer debate sounds very similar to a relatively recent debate on the priest forums, namely Flash Heal (FH) vs Renew.

The FH camp would go on-and-on about numbers, heal sniping, etc. Renew would rebutt with Ensidia Holy Priests, etc.

The debate will then turn to hard-mode achievements flaming. FH would say this particular Renew Priest hasn't done hard-mode this, hard-mode that. Then a Renew Priest who did those hardmodes would come into the debate, etc (You can imagine the backwards-and-forwards).

End of the day, the community finally settled on FH vs Renew as a "playstle" decision rather than a "min-max" thing.

Are we seeing the same thing with this QA2 vs Auctioneer debate??

Iiene of Kul Tiras said...

Shiko:

Only the first time you've agreed with me?

Let's go farther!

"To clear up my previous post, How exactly is having a 60s undercut and a 20g fallback in QA2 ANY different than what you're doing with Auctioneer."

Dude! That's NOT HOW HE WORKS. Let's look at the numbers Gevlon himself posted:

Threshold: market - 40%
Fallback: Market + 25%

There is no 20 gold fallback. To have a 20 gold fallback, the 'market' price would have to be 16 gold. (16 gold + 25% is 20 gold) But then the threshold would be 16 gold - 40%.. or 9.6 gold. Riddle me this! When is a 9.6 gold threshold viable?

Shiko said...

@Anynymous
I've dropped the glyphs to about 3.5g each and kept it that way for 2 weeks straight, it was no use since the camper just came back as soon as I raised prices again. I'd rather not keep glyphs very low.

As for what you said, I've modified my scan.lua file in auctioneer to do exactly that. "If below threshold - undercut the next highest price"...

Nick S. said...

While I'm (somewhat grudgingly) beginning to agree that a 48-hour posting cycle can yield the best gold/hour, what I haven't yet found to be true is that you can get rid of the competition enough to be safe from undercutting, even at low costs.

I'm posting with an 11g fallback cap at the moment (up from 10g) and am still regularly undercut down to as little as silver. Some such undercuts are on leveling glyphs, to be sure, but some of them are from Books of Glyph Mastery!

Now, I can't complain too much. I'm up from 6 or 7,000g/week to well over 10,000g/week between switching to a lower-price, higher-volume scheme and the departure of my primary competitor, but I'm still only getting a sale on about 1/3 glyphs I post, and it's because the undercutting continues. Do I just keep driving the price down until my margins are razor-thin and hope someone leaves?

Gevlon said...

@Shiko: read PS2. About your last question: 15G (12*1.25). How to deal with 17 hours campers? Read the post maybe?

@Iiene: the posting time is completely AFK, needs no action from me. The WORKload matters, not the computer time. The farmers spend all their time on farming, so it's not free. I have to clean my flat anyway (unless I want to live in dirt), so the time spent on mailbox reclaiming is the difference between the time cleaning the flat with clicking sometimes - time cleaning flat without clicking.

@Nick: I'm NEVER safe from undercutting. The point is that I don't mind it. If there is competition, I sell little = work little. If there is no, I sell relatively high.

Iiene of Kul Tiras said...

Gevlon:

"@Iiene: the posting time is completely AFK"

No it's not! It occupies your thoughts and you have to remember to go back to the computer.

Even more... Since you could be doing things to SPEED IT UP... like using a /reloadui macro, I contend that you're using this 'time' to actually DODGE the time spent to artificially boost your "gold per hour".

It's a conceit. The VERY SAME as the "I farmed it so it's free"

Ablimoth said...

I have a Bachelors of Economics and am working on my Masters now. I tell you this for context of what I am about to say.

I have never read a more reasoned or accurate argument about the behaviour of sellers in a perfectly competitive market with the only start up cost being time. Well done.

To the naysayers I can only suggest that you consider whether you say you are right because you are right or do you say you are right because it is what you do and you're a good person therefore what you do is right.

They are two different motivations for behaviour and you need to understand which is driving you. One of the motivations is supportable by a reasoned argument, one of them is not.

Finally, to compete with someone posting 24/7, do exactly what Gevlon suggests. Drive the price into the ground. If you want to "own" the market faster, discount by more than 60s. You won't sell glyphs in this time. That is ok, the goal is to make him post at a loss, not to sell your glyphs. You are mistaking that because you do not see a profit, the competition does.

Finally (2), a QA2 fallback price encourages competition as you are falling back to a price that is profitable for them! A 48 hr median fallback price will, if competition exists, fallback to a price which is at the point where competition left. Gevlons fallback is median +25% which enables him to perfectly extract the maximum price that a buyer will pay (as if they all get sold, his fallback goes up by another 25% and so on) then once again, gutting the market if a competitor enters.

Shiko said...

@Gevlon thanks for clearing this up
@liene yeah 9.6g threshold is silly since that would mean missing out on a very large portion of the market...
@Azzur No matter what gevlon says QA2 is the superior tool because you can config it to accomplish the same thing in about 10% of the time. I don't want to sound like a troll, but I higly doubt Gevlon actually installed QA to try it out. If he used it for at least a week then made a review we can come back to the discussion, otherwise there is no point in arguing anymore.

Azzur said...

@Shiko: Actually, my preference is QA2 as it posts much faster. Unlike Gevlon, AFK time is not good for me as that's time I could be playing WoW! However, for those people who don't place value on this AFK time (which is perfectly legitimate), I contend that both tools will server you well. Use the one that you like best.

@Ablimoth: Even though Gevlon makes reasoned arguments, he is ignoring evidence. QA2 must obviously work or else there won't be people like KevMar, Bouville or Andrew (who wrote the 9-week experiment) using it. If Auctioneer is the "correct" method, then due to market forces, people will gravitate towards it. The evidence shows otherwise.

Iiene of Kul Tiras said...

Nick:

Analyze what the rest of the market is doing. Are they capped at 11 gold?

Your first choice should be to move your fallback UP, not down. Unless you have a damn good reason to do so.

Analyze the undercuts you see. Are they small? Or is some guy just spanking your 11 gold price down to 5?

If they're small... RAISE your fallback. If you're being spanked down, then you have a Goblin and you have to drop your threshold to meet him. .... Even if it means you have to destroy the market. Because you know he will.

Ephemeron said...

The difference between 'gambler mode' and 'worker bee' mode is not in the choice of the tool, but in the selection of the settings.

Auctioneer can be set up for a gambler - undercut by 1c, fallback to +500% median price, collect unsold glyphs (and a very rare windfall).

Likewise, QA works perfectly fine for a worker bee: undercut by 50s+, set the fallback at, say, 8g (with no bonus multiplier for empty market), and enjoy the steady flow of cash.

Archangel said...

I don’t do glyphs nor is any of my characters a scribe. The markets I play in, I don’t care who my competition is. I don’t care what my competition does. I use QA. The speed this bad boy is posting…boy…it is FAST. Prices for the items I craft to sell, varies greatly. From say 100g up to 300g for the same item. I don’t like to post at the median value. I don’t want to post at the median value. As long as I don’t drop below my cost, I like to post at the price range of the day, along with my other competitors. I don’t want to drive anyone out; I just want to sell my items too. And you know what? My items sell very well. I don’t undercut by 1c, I don’t camp and I post for 48 hours.

On a side note, I suspect you perfectly understood what some of your respectable commenter told you, in the previous post related to this one. But you like to spark controversy, don’t you ?

Goth said...

Word on the street is that there is a way to beat QA2 with a single low "bid only" schema. I haven't tried it myself, but I may spend sometime tomorrow make 300 or so 1gold "bid only" glyphs.

Guess I will have to find my "hard" cancel all macro. This sounds like fun. :)

Iiene of Kul Tiras said...

Hmm. This seems to be a recurring point:

Mundy says:
"Your comparison isn't the same thing. Gevlon's point is that majority of the work is automated so he can do something else more productive/enjoyable in the same time so that there is very little time lost."

No! It's a conceit. Gevlon seems to go out of his way NOT to maximize his time just so he can claim to be 'cleaning his flat' or whatever instead.

Cases in point:
Mail. Use a /reloadui macro to speed that up.

Crafting. I calculate that Gevlon spends 4.75 hours every 2 days to actually craft glyphs. You CAN'T do this offline. You MUST click a button over and over again. The one respite is actually making the inks. But then.. you get to the glyph crafting itself, where you have to click 'continue' (At the very least) every 15 seconds. You can't do this while... "Cleaning your flat"

Anonymous said...

"Crafting. I calculate that Gevlon spends 4.75 hours every 2 days to actually craft glyphs. You CAN'T do this offline. You MUST click a button over and over again. The one respite is actually making the inks. But then.. you get to the glyph crafting itself, where you have to click 'continue' (At the very least) every 15 seconds. You can't do this while... "Cleaning your flat""

No, but you can do it when you're reading blogs or otherwise browsing the internet. Find a glyph worth crafting, grab the materials and craft a suitable quantity, alt tab to whatever until it's done.

Clearly you already spend time reading and commenting on a blog. Why not make more efficient use of your time and read them when you're performing a semi-automated process, such as clicking 'get all mail' with postal or crafting 10 of the same glyph?

Lite said...

I never studied economy but what I simply am not getting Gevlon, Is how you strategy could ever work.

I'm not doubting you because obviously you know what you're doing but. I'd like someone to explain the following to me.

Say Gevlon has finally managed to drive everyone away from the glyph market by his deep undercutting and low fallback prices.
Everyone but 1.

This guy does exactly what I do when I'm online. Chill about on his bankalt doing god knows what, trying to catch the good deals on /2 and trying to make his daily profits on god knows what.
He's also in the glyph market, uses QA2 and relists his glyphs 4 times a day. He knows that glyphs aren't his main income but that's okay because it's just "part of the daily AH routine".

Based on my logic this guy will _allways_ sell his glyphs and you will never sell any. You're both represented on every single glyph that is profitable but the only difference is when you log on once every 48 hours and list your glyphs, he will log on a few hours later. Cancel all his glyphs and relist at your price -1silver.

The only way you could really drive me out of the market would be to set your glyphs so low that i'd actually lose money on the market. After a few weeks of that I'd probably "give up" and put my glyph business on hold untill the prices were back up.

But once those prices were up again, i'd still list my glyphs 8 times as much as you. How do you beat that?

Granted youre not spending much time, but youre not earning any money either.

Tara said...

The glyph prices on my server are declining and declining. Over 90% of the glyphs go for <2g with a few as low as 20-60 silver.

I am in the unfortunate situation that I am sitting on several hundred inks (which sell for 50s-1g so selling those isn´t a great option).

I don´t really know what to do. Every day I can sell some glyphs for a decent price (>3g). So I can either settle with:
a.)only selling a few glyphs a day
b.) follow the dumping prices and sell every glyph for 1g and get it over with
c.) wait for prices to get up again (in the last 3 weeks they have been steadily declining )

So, how do you still make a few gold in such a market?

PS: I guess part of the problem is that there are some new herb sellers that sell silly amounts of herbs for really low prices. I bought 200 stacks of adder's tongue for 9g the stack.

Azzur said...

Heh, I once tried to be "productive" during the milling/crafting process.

I made WoW into a tiny window and started watching Iron Chef videos on YouTube. It was terrible, I coudln't concentrate on the videos at all. I actually watched the wrong part3 of the video! Took me 7 mins to realise coz I couldn't multi-task well. :p

Maybe that is Gevlon's secret that he hasn't shared with us. Increase your multi-task abilities and then you can raise your gold/hr ratio!

Gevlon said...

Iiene: 4.7 hours crafting???? How many glyphs do you think I craft? I sell around 6-700 and yes, the crafting is the hardest part.

Lite: if the prices are in the mud none of us make profit. However since the guys camp and undercuts me by 1s, he sells all the glyphs and I sell no. So I have 0 profit with 0 workload, while he craft glyphs for free for the whole server. That's why he leaves.

Ablimoth said...

@Azzur: You're assuming rationality despite multiple proofs that rationality is not correct. Keymar et. al. make more gold than Gevlon, this is a known fact. They invest more time into it as well however.

Gevlon trades off profit for time (as do we all) he just values his time significantly higher.

@lite: that is 100% correct. Someone else, who invests hours a day, will make money while you're still resetting the price. The price will stabilise low, which is fine for you because you post 1/48 hours. It is not fine for him/her as posting 8/24 hours for the same profit per glyph (after the price has reached equilibrium) is not acceptable and they will either find a new market or give up (if they stay, you can drive the price lower or leave).

Ya'all have to look beyond the first week!

Anti said...

@ Goth - post back here if it doesnt work. if i dont see a post by you i'll assume it worked so well you dont want to advertise the fact.

if this indeed works it could be final deathblow to QA2.

Azzur said...

@Ablimoth: I contend that the posting part of the glyph industry is the easiest. Because of this, I don't see them spending more time than Gevlon.

Also, I've investigated the QA2 crafting process compared to Gevlon's LilSparky process. I found that QA2 does it better and the time saved there can be put to use elsewhere.

Lite said...

@Gevlon True. If I am making literally 0 profit or at a loss. I will leave the market temporarily.
But say the material price of a glyph is 2g(Seems to be the case on my server). AS long as I am selling my glyphs for >2g I will stay on the market. But you will continue to drive the market down.
Example:
Gevlon logs on after his 48 hour cycle and relists all of his glyphs at 6g(I know thats not the case as your median price is dynamic but follow me here)
I log on and cancel/relist my glyphs at 5g99s.
The next 48 hours I will sell all of my glyphs at 5g99s.
You will sell none at 6g.

Next week you post your glyphs at 5g99s-60s=5g39s.
Once again I cancel/relist. this would continue for 6,6 cycles untill the prices finally reach my threshold(material cost). I will cancel my glyphs and as long as the prices on glyphs are < material cost you will "own" the market.
I will continue to spend 3-4 hours a day online, making money off of my other business, doing a daily scan of the glyph market to see if its worth diving back in. If it isn't I'll keep out. The second you relist your glyphs at 6g I will jump back in though.

So again, Am i misunderstanding something or are you simply assuming that you will win in the end because you've got more patience and whoever uses QA2 will leave the market for good once he's been beaten and the prices never fallback to the redicilous 59g49s that MMO-Champion seem to think is a great idea?

Mundy said...

Iiene of Kul Tiras

"No! It's a conceit. Gevlon seems to go out of his way NOT to maximize his time just so he can claim to be 'cleaning his flat' or whatever instead."

What difference does it make if he's maximising his time or what particular activity he's doing while glyphs are crafting or mail is being collected?

The point is the only time he spends on the business is the time taken to click a button and the time taken to get back to what he was doing. it doesnt matter if that was cleaning his flat, studying or jerking off, the point is he has minimised his time spent on his glyph business while maximising his time spent doing other more productive/enjoyable things.

Yes it still takes the same amount of time to post the auctions or craft the herbs. Its the fact that he can do something else at the same time that makes it a better alternative to farming or camping the AH.

Anonymous said...

So I've been trying this way for weeks on Al'Akir EU and it doesn't work. Maybe because there's at least 1 glyph seller that also reads this blog and there might be more I'm pretty sure. They all post several times a day.
What happens is that I get undercut pretty much the second I post all my glyphs. Doesn't matter if it's down to 2g. There they undercutting me for weeks. So if you want to follow Gevlon's advice scout for a server where glyphs are run by small time sellers and glyph prices are still above 10g, then transfer there. No way this will work vs QA2 AH campers even if you keep it up for weeks.

Ephemeron said...

Don't forget one important rule:

There's no such thing as a free resource.

If you can make 400 gold by spending 6 minutes actively pressing keys and another 1.5 hours being AFK while the scanning/posting cycle runs, this does not mean that you have made 400 gold in 6 minutes (and definitely doesn't mean that you've made 4K/hour)

Time that you can spend logged in and AFK is a resource like any other. If you have access to it, it's wise to profit from it, but it would be naive to assume that it's free.

P.S. And yes, there are other ways to profit from semi-AFK time. For instance, you could place a flying engineer over the scorched part of Wintergrasp/Dragonblight border, and check for respawning fire clouds (up to 4 of them can be active at the same time!) every few minutes. Or you could hang around a node in a battleground, do a keypress every now and then, and receive honor that can be converted into epic gems. Et cetera, et cetera.

Nick S. said...

@Ilene

"Your first choice should be to move your fallback UP, not down. Unless you have a damn good reason to do so."

The only two reasons I have for keeping my fallback low are:

- Discouraging competition
- Encouraging enthusiastic consumption

That second point, by the way, is one I'd love to see you talk about more, Gevlon.

But back on topic - How will raising my fallback price improve my chance of selling any given glyph per posting period? I fear that if I raise it too much, given that I already have competition undercutting me, I'll just encourage even more competition to re-enter the market.

I'm also a bit disinterested in raising my fallback too much because I currently have a significant number of multi-sales where one player will buy out my entire stock of a certain glyph. I assume (perhaps incorrectly) that this is happening because my prices are low enough that people feel as though they can "stock up." Once the server becomes used to my prices, this behavior will probably end, but I want to enjoy the profits from it while I can, you know?

Shiko said...

I wrote a response on my blog
http://latinumbar.blogspot.com/2009/11/why-gevlon-is-wrong-about-qa2.html

Not sure if plugging my blog is ok here or not.

Wooly said...

I here by challenge all of you to a glyph-off! Let's transfer to the same server and first (wo)man to reach 100k wins the argument!

Okrane S. said...

in a market with lots of competition ANYTHING you do... you'll get UNDERCUT. Therefore you won't sell. What are possible solution against this war:

1) CAMP MOAR!
i.e. spend all day in front of the AH cancel-reposting. It Works and QA2 is awesome for it.

2) UNDERCUT MOAR!
i.e. drive the price at mats cost and keep it there hoping competition goes away. which basically means the following steps:
- glyph sells for 10-15g.
a) bring it down to 2g
b) wait a while, and keep posting at 2g
c) when competition is gone, cancel repost at 15g again
d) Profit.

3) Use a dynamic pricing method
Thats what auctioneer does. If you look at the steps above auctioneer allows you to automate the steps a) b) and c) without too much hassle to analyse each glyph price and competition.

Advantages:
- You are present on the market at a good price
- While you are there competition is selling lower without fallbacks so they gain little
- if they are gone your prices slowly go up.
- if they are still there your prices slowly go down.
- it does not invite competiton back with 50g fallback prices.

Conclusion:
If you wanna use:
- option 1) QA is your best choice.
- option 2) with QA you spend more time doing it than a guy with Auctioneer.
- option 3) you can only use Auctioneer for it, because of their stat module.

They all work. and I do believe option 1 yields the most gold. However the guys using it are no lifers who have nothing better to do. Therefore QA noobs.

Now the only problem with Gevlon's strategy is that you must constantly be on the market. On most glyphs. Even if you are not selling. For example, if you forget to post glyphs for even a single class, and your QA wizard competitor makes a killing from fallback glyphs on that class, he will still remain in the competition driving you out. This tactic requires a rigorous application.

Lite said...

I just thought of something(read my earlier 2 comments)

Gevlon's point may be that he is willing to sell glyphs at a loss for months. I, for one, am not willing to do that. And this might be where you would "win" the market. If youre only willing to do it for a few weeks people like me would return to the market - No doubt.

Goth said...

@ Anti

I won't be able to check if the "bid only" schema works until the morning, but the add-on can not tell the difference from a bid undercut only that an undercut has occurred. QA2 will cancel all of those glyphs and the user will be unable to post if it is under his threshold. I assume 1 gold would be under most of their thresholds, but you could set the bid only to 1 silver and that would cover the whole market too. Their only defense would be to bid on your glyph up to their threshold which would still make me happy to see my comp buying my glyphs so I will just post another bid only glyph.

There is a cancel all macro on the auctioneer site that will cancel all auction including those that have been bought (awaiting 30 minute timer) or have bids on them.
So you will lose nothing - no risk = all reward.

Of course they will just download another helper program, but from what I have heard most of these users aren't smart enough to actually make a macro. This will at the very least kill the MMO Champ crowd that has invaded the market.

QA2 is just too damn easy to use and I totally agree with Gevlon's n00b association.

Shiko said...

@lite
with his settings he will never sell glyphs at a loss. he simply doesnt craft glyphs below a certain price.

Lite said...

@Goth

Please keep the discussion civil. Claiming that a tool is too easy to use and "n00bish" is not a valid point. The issue at hand is which tool/which method _works_. Whether one method is easier than the other is irrelevant.

Lite said...

@Shiko, my point is that he would have to if he wanted to drive me(semi AH camper - Relisting 4 times a day).

Shiko said...

More likely that you're going to drive him out. He's just going to ignore you if you post below his threshold (-40% median price)

Okrane S. said...

@ Lite

So, you argue against the word QA noobz but what do we find out?

You are a no-lifer AH camper yourself...

Posting 4 times a day... hmmm... therefore, you buy herbs/mill/craft glyphs 4 times a day.

Your time must be worth so little if you are ready to spend this time for 10s/glyph profit. Dude... the chinese farmers make more profit than you... Ever tried doing a run through Scholazar? With the time you spend, you'll maybe notice that its more profitable.

@ Gevlon.

Sorry to say this to you dude, but your blog has attracted a LOT of M&S wannabe Goblins... who even don't get what the word means...

@Topic.
QA is a good tool. I use it. Sometimes for glyphs, sometimes for other stock. BUT, in a price war where everyone is using it, the only winner is the no lifer with MOAR TIME on his hands.

Christian said...

I was going to post a reply here telling Gevlon that he was wrong, that QA is a tool you can use to similar effect as Auctioneer, with some different options.

Then I read all the replies, and I discovered he's right.

The people on here that are defending QA show that they have little clue what Gevlon is talking about.

Here's what I do if I follow Gevlon's method.

First of all, anyone that argues that auctioneer is slow in posting and thus takes more time needs to realize that I usually do my dishes while posting with auctioneer. Since those dishes need to be done anyway, the only time spent is the minute or so setting up Auctioneer.

When getting my mail from my mailbox, I go browse web pages. I tab into wow every minute or two and click the mailbox. I'd read these webpages anyway, so total time spent is about three seconds per batch of mails.

Cancelling the auctions works in a similar way. I have WoW windowed, click my cancel button, and tab out. Then I go do something I would do anyway. Total time spent is about ten seconds.

So, assuming I post about a thousand glyph a go, the total time spent posting them is about two minutes - I do not spend any time watching WoW do things.

Of course, recently I took a look at AQ, and I'm trying out some of the functionality. I still use Auctioneer to determine what glyphs I should and shouldn't sell, but I think the functionality of AQ can be used in a similar way. The biggest difference is that Gevlon has no minimum price during posting (he only has a minimum price during crafting,) and that my prices go up to the preset level a lot quicker.

Right now I'm tinkering with the preset level. I want it low enough to ensure that the single sale profit glyphers stay away, and high enough to make a decent amount of money.

But here a problem comes in. There are a lot of people glyphing out there, and even if I manage to push a good chunk of them out of the market, it will take time. And even if they decide to leave the glyph business, they most likely WILL sell their current stockpiles.

But I don't care about time - right now I'm making a little profit, and I spend a little more time then Gevlon does. But that time is well spent, I'm learning new stuff every day, and I'm enjoying some aspects of the AH metagame.

Now it's only to wait for the first angry letter.

Shiko said...

@okrane
posting 4 times a day doesn't mean you're a no life AH camper. and it definitely doesn't mean he has to craft 4 times a day.
Scenario: He crafts 20 of each glyph once a week.
He doesn't actually need to cancel his auctions. the process is: Log onto glyph alt -> right click auctioneer, press post, wait 10 minutes, close wow and move on. when you run out of glyphs in your back go to mailbox and retrieve everything (again can be done once a day/once a week)

Goth said...

@Lite

I did not make the association, but I do agree with it. If a competitor can put in his wish list by setting a lower and higher limit, craft glyphs to populate his group, cancel and relist every half hour, and sit back while collecting bank. That person will never leave a market with no skill required. Auctioneer is somewhat difficult to set up correctly and this fact dissuades many users.

There has been an unskilled drone element in the auction house since QA2 came out, simply because of its ease of use. That is a fact that you honestly can't refute.

A poster came out with a way to defeat QA2 on JMTC forums; it is my privilege to pass the word - not the credit.

Anonymous said...

I agree Goth. But that doesn't stop me from using it. Using QA2 nets me a nice profit per week from Glyphs alone. It's not my main income but it's a steady one I would hate being without.

Shiko said...

@goth A poster came out with a way to defeat QA2 on JMTC forums; it is my privilege to pass the word - not the credit.

bid only affects QA when you go below threshold, so no, nobody actually defeated QA2
Also auctioneer and QA2 take the same ammount of 'skill' to set up. How much 'skill' do you actually need to set a price range???
You can camp the market with auctioneer if you really wanted, either addon involves the same amount of being a drone.

Goth said...

@Shiko

What? If 1 gold is not under your threshold then I will bid 1 silver. My bid will be set up for a 48 hour timeframe. You will be unable to post anything because your threshold limit has been exceeded. Auctioneer will ignore the bid and post at the next valid price that is within my settings. That my friend puts you out of business and I seriously doubt that most QA users are smart enough to set up a CANCEL all macro correctly. Your work just increased ten-fold and for me it is business as usual.

Okrane S. said...

Cancel-Reposting Time:

On my computer, grabbing a batch of 50 glyphs with the time the mailbox needs to refresh itself takes around 1 minute.
(Havent tried the reload UI macro - I'll do it when I get home)

So: for 1000 glyphs(typical quantity):
* 1-2 minutes cancel time
* 20 minutes grab time
* 2 minutes/batch with QA2 (rough amount) x
* times 3 batches
(you have enough place in ur bags for around 300 glyphs in average: depends of course on the no of glyphs you create for each type, but I usually find it around this number)

Up to a grand total of 25 minutes! (maybe more with logging time, check prices to see if undercut, walk to the mailbox and back, etc)

Lets round it up to 30mins!

gogo CAMP MOAR!

Shiko said...

@goth since most people simply ignore bid only items in the game I will gladly bid on your 1s priced glyphs.
as for cancelling everything, I have a macro that cancells all my glyphs but I stopped using it since /qa cancelall accomplishes the same thing.

@okrane
I use 3 alts for posting. I only retrieve items from the mailbox when I have nothing to post. Since I make 20 of each glyph, post twice a day 2glyphs each, it takes me 5 days to run out of glyphs. I can afford to only check mailbox once every 5 days.

Regarding mail. there is a way to get postal to autorefresh your mailbox that doesnt break the TOS. checkinbox() is not protected, so automating it is legal. Retrieving a thousand mails or 3 takes 1 click.

Anonymous said...

I think the people who say "wouldn't work on my realm" are rather in the case where the demand is low or the supply is already above demand.

If I don't need a glyph, would I buy it if it was "ridiculously cheap"? No, I still don't need a glyph.

The problem with 50g sellers is they don't realize when a customer sees such glyph he's rather inclined to find a scribe friend / guildie, go to trade chat where some scribes are "WTS any glyph, my mats, 10g", or wait it out and go with a crappy glyph for the time being.

But how do you deal with low pop / low demand situation where you can't sell 1000 glyphs a week, because there aren't enough customers overall? Assuming the competition exists and your 1000 glyphs aren't the only ones in the AH.

Okrane S. said...

@Shiko

Thanks for the tip about postal. I'll check it out.

Anonymous said...

Gevlon, I think most people don't get the following two sentences:

"I either have a nice profit or no work. That guarantees my sky-high gold/hour."

They think your sky-high g/h directly translates into income but it does not and perhaps you don't point it out enough.

To expand your first sentence: 'I either have a little work and nice profit or no work and no profit.'

Your scheme secures a good and relatively stable profitability but it is not a fire-and-forget way to 'the big money fast'. I don't think you claim that but many seem to get that impression. It all depends on supply and demand.

Being a goblin means you are able to ensure your profitability. How lucrative your business plan is, is more in the hands of the market than in your hands.

Shiko said...

@Anonymous that's the single valid point in this post.

"I either have a nice profit or no work. That guarantees my sky-high gold/hour."

We all make more gold/day than we can ever spend. The real question becomes not making more gold, but spending less time doing it. Which is what QA excells at - minimizing online time.

Matt said...

I think all of you are missing the point. It has nothing to do with the tool, it has nothing to do with auctioneer or QA2. Its the psychology of the people using the tool that matters.
All those kids who read mmo-champion see the AH as a get rich quick scheme they think that all they have to do is get the tool, run it, and in a couple of hours they'll have all the gold they want for their mammoths.
So they sit there camping the ah, desperately trying to get their gold and trying to convince everyone to play along, in their "monopoly" or "blackmail" or "1c undercutting games" and they get annoyed with undercutters, they hate them.
Gevlon on the otherhand has it figured out, he doesn't mind undercutters, he knows how to be (in the words of how goldman sachs used to be) long term greedy. If the market is up, he sells more, if the market is down he sells less.
He uses his knowledge of economics to make money. Auctoneer supports his knowledge. QA2 doesn't support his theories, doesn't lend itself to be easily adaptable, and generally is the tool used by those followers who want to make all the money.
Its the difference between the guy who spends all his time working harder with his pick axe, and the guy who digs a few holes and fills them with dynamite,

Frankly I'm surprised hes posting his strategy, I'm not surprised he would gloat (I would too) but to post his strategy shows his confidence in it.

Lite said...

I never get undercut on more than 1-200 of my glyphs at a time so my actual cancelling/relisting time is 1/5'th of what youre proposing Okrane. But other than that yea, I "camp".

It seems that regardless of which blog i visit everyone state that "Your time is money" - Which ofcourse is true. But it's not the absolute truth.
Yes, I might be able to earn more at a given time by running around mining in the basin - but I hate mining.

I could make more money than I do in my current job irl. But I love my job. If the pay on my job was crap then yea, i'd probably look around for a job where my income would increase, but as long as I'm satisfied with my current income contra how much I enjoy working where I work it's all good.

Sometime the glyphs drop so low that the profit from being dominant on the market is minimal - but I enjoy sitting at the AH, trying to sell my Rituals of the Moon, buying, reselling, chatting with my guildies. And whatever I'm doing _is_ very profitable.
1 Month ago I had to borrow repair money from a guildie during a raid. Yesterday I hit 42.000g.

My point is that business isn't as black and white as you say it is. Employers will choose the job they find most suiting/most enjoyable as long as they feel like they're getting paid "enough"

Anonymous said...

Profit and income are not the same, you might want to emphasize that a bit more.

"So in the QA2-undecutting game your only choice to increase profit is camping harder."

What did you mean: profit or income?

Because if you meant profit (g/h spent) then there's something wrong with that statement. The QA2-undercutter has to spent time for that, so his h in g/h will grow (= less profit). Now it can ensure him selling at all but still for less than he posted before so g in g/h shrinks, too. You cannot increase your profits by doing the 1c undercutting game.

If you meant income, then that is true, however, it is true for your own scheme (if you don't sell some glyphs, you spent less time, keeping g/h (profit) stable but you have a lower income. Taken around, if you wanted to make more gold (absolute not per time spent), you would need to spent more time.

Shiko said...

@matt
The tool matters. Both tools accomplish the same thing, except that one tool allows you to do things quicker.
I personally believe that 48 hours is too long and I think doing what gevlon does except at 12 hour intervals yield more gold/hour. But that's server dependent.

Goth said...

@Shiko

There are also macro's that cancels your auctions that have a bid or are going through the buyout transaction time. I did not mean to imply that you are not smart enough to set up a cancel macro, but that most QA users, this now includes the MMO Champion crowd, can / will not.

No, Auctioneer is not difficult to set up since there are guides all over the internet including this blog.

The fact is that QA recognizes a "bid only" post as a undercut and if the "bid only" post is set to 1 silver and if the person that is posting covers the entire market, QA has been defeated and its users will be unable to use the program to post glyphs.

I could care less if you use a cancel macro or QA to cancel, all of your posts will be canceled. The market is covered with 1 silver bids, if you bid on it so that the glyph is above your lower limit then all the poster has to do is put up another 1 silver "bid only" post. If that poster is me - well your going to buy one hell of a lot of glyphs.

Shiko said...

@Goth
What I meant is that people follow a "I need it now" mentality. There is always netherweave cloth on ah for 2g/stack bid only buy the one that gets bought is the 7g/stack buyout.
You can put all your glyphs for 1s each. I wont bid them up to above my threshold. I'm just going to wait untill <30 minutes left and bid on your 1silver bids because nobody else bid them in the past 48 hours.

Anonymous said...

@Shiko:
"I personally believe that 48 hours is too long and I think doing what gevlon does except at 12 hour intervals yield more gold/hour. "

You're falling into that trap again. Profit is not equal to income.

By reducing the interval to 12h you have to spent more time, so it is not guaranteed that your g/h will increase.

Anonymous said...

About the gold/hour thing. Yeah relisting 20 times a day might lower your G/hour to daily questing but it's not the same drag as daily questing. There is a lot of afk time while posting glyphs where you can just tab out for 1 minute and read something or whatever. If you did that while daily questing you would never complete quests at a decent rate.
About QA2 vs Auctioneer. Only difference is like what? Your fallback is static rather than % of a median? That doesn't even matter when your glyphs that goes to fallback price will get undercut 1 minute later.

Goth said...

@Shiko

Wow man, you still don't get it???

My objective is not to sell anything at 1 silver and i fully intend to cancel all of my "bid only" glyphs way before those auctions ever reach 30 minutes left to live.

QA2 will recognize my "bid only" posts as a undercut so the QA users will be unable to compete in the market using that program.

Shiko said...

@Anonymous
I'm not falling into the same trap. There's a balance between how many times you undercut and how much gold it will give you. Let's say you undercut once every 48 hours and it gives you 1000g. If you undercut every 24 hours instead there might be a chance that you triple the ammount of glyphs you sell, resulting in 3000g for double work. There you maximized gold/hour. Now if you undercut 7 times a day, that doesnt mean you're earning 10 times the gold since demand is actually limited, so the gold/hour begins to decrease.

What I'm saying is that there's a balance between maximum gold/hour and times undercut. It will rise until you reach peak gold/hour and then it will fall after that. For gevlon's server it might be 48 hours, for me 12 hour periods seem to do the trick.

@goth I'll try messing with QA by posting 1 of each glyph at 1c and seeing if I can cancel it. I've never actually used a bid only setting.

Lite said...

@goth

Do I understand this correctly. Say you make 10 of each glyph in the game. First, you repost every ~3-5 of every single glyph on the AH undercutting by 1c or whatever.

Then you list 5 of each glyphs @ 1s bid/no bo and Quick Auction will be incapable of working around that?

Shiko said...

@Lite
That's correct. I didn't actually know you can cancel an auction if someone bid on it since I never put bid only, but apparently you can.
Easy solution, change the scan.lua file in QuickAuctions to completely ignore bid only auctions. If something like that becomes an issue it will only take a few minutes to correct it.

One said...

To me it seems like Auctioneer is better at reacting to a Dnyamic market.

What i don't really get is, if for example Gelvon and one QA user clash on a server, and lets assume they are the only ones who are selling Glyphes.

The QA user works with Settings like 6g Threeshold, Undercut by 50s and Fallback of 25g

If we assume the qa user was there before [since if not prices would be at 9999999 :) ] all Glyphs cost 25g.

Gelvon Posts: 15g
QA user posts: 14,50

Gelvon: 8,70
QA:8,20

Gelvon: 4,92

Now the QA user stops to post. The market "belongs" to gelvon.

QA: Doesn't post
Gelvon: 6,15

With QA set to 50s undercut it won't post, with 1c it would.

QA: Don't post
Gelvon: 7,69

QA: 7,19

In the end Gelvon would sell more Glyphes (Market belongs to him for 2x 48h) however the Glyphs sold in this timespan would sell for less profit, so its hard to tell which method is more efficient.

But what this clearly shows is that Gelvons strategy is clearly meant to drive competition out of the market. And if it fails to do so is not really better than QA

What also doesn't make sense to me is that you keep repeating "they sell and have to make new glyphs", well at least my aim is to sell Glyphs, and i won't sell under a 4g profit margin (which is reasonable on my server). And if you are undercutting like in the Example you also have to Craft these Glyphes which you sell below 6g

I'm shure it works like a Charm if you are up agains mmo-champ postbots but against intelligent QA users?
However i will give it a try and test if it improves my profit

Shiko said...

@One except for the fact that gevlon only cherry picks glyphs with a high median price, while most people using QA make their threshold be 3g.

Goth said...

@Shiko and Lite

I haven't tried the bid only schema, but it has been suggested that this will mess up QA causing the user not to post because the bid is under QA's lower limit.

I have also read that this is true only if it is above your lower limit. I will have to experiment and see if it works.

Experienced users that can manipulate the code should not have an issue, but this may throw a wrench at the MMO crowd using QA.

Yes, there is a cancel macro that will cancel everything including thos auctions with a current bid on them or on the buyout timer.

Anonymous said...

I'd like to know who would win if there were 2 Gevlons competing with each other.

Everyone is talking about how much time it takes to make gold but what about the fun factor doing it? Is the fun related to how much gold you make or the ease with which you make it?

There was a post prefaced with the declaration that the poster had a B.E. and was completing a Masters. How many architects of the GFC had economic degrees do you think?

Since the heyday of Inscription is over and the market is reaching or has reached saturation point (until new glyphs are released or a surge of new characters increases demand) is the market more susceptible or better suited to the monopolizer or casual inscriptor?

Anonymous said...

I think there is nothing to discuss because we clearly have different goals and reasons why we play.

We - the "this wouldn't work on our server" faction - play the AH to make gold.

You - the "deep undercutting wins everytime" faction - play to get a high gold / hour(active) ratio.

Telling someone who is chasing a high total amount of gold that deep undercutting always wins because you simply stop selling when you're against competition doesn't makes any sense. Thats not genius or smart... hell its not even a stategy at all for people like "us" ;)

Gnome of Zurich said...

The problem with QA 2 is that you can't tell it to post at a reasonable market price when the undercut price is too low, it simply doesn't post. But stregically you should overcut in those situations. It doesn't cost you much at all, and now you will sell something if buyer's demand is higher than competitor's supply at some point in your cycle.

It's also a problem for selling anything which sells in huge quantities because it will never list more than 40 items.

It also doesn't get that sometimes you wish to cancel and repost not because you've been undercut, but because you have *no competition*. The competitor you were undercutting has fallen off and now you can relist higher.

Having a moving fallback is worth something also, although gevlon may overstate just how much. It mostly saves time adjusting your fallback price to the market conditions.

That said the posting speed advantage of QA2 is so huge, it's worth running with a combination, IMO. And I'm thinking seriously about how to hack QA2 to do some of the things it should but doesn't.

It would speed up my enchant mats trading substantially, but so far I only use it to cancel when I want to adjust price, if I happen to be undercut.

Also, it needs to be easier to select groups for batching. As it is now in QA2, if you set something up as a group, you have to remove it from the group in order to not do the processing you have setup. Which is a pain in the ass. You ought to be able to cancel/post all, or cancel/post just certain groups in order to adjust your strategy beyond the braindead options given.

If auctioneer would cancel multiple auctions and posted anywhere *near* as fast as QA2, I would delete QA2 in a second.

Shiko said...

"My 3-4K G/hour (active time hours, excluding long auctioneer posting or clicking the mailbox once a minute while cleaning my home)"

I make an enchanting scroll in about 30 seconds and I sell it at 400g profit.
Does that mean that I make 48000/hour? No, because the demand is limited. So stop giving inflated numbers. You make 9000g a week which is average and actually accurate.

Anonymous said...

Gevlon is essentially a goblin scrub. His only saving grace is he is the person that he coined the phrase "goblin" to those dedicated to making money in WoW. Most of his money was made exploiting the relatively unknown potential of Inscription in the earlier days of its release.

Now he lives off of this partial fame, by blogging about pointless, random pseudo-philosophic garbage to fill his equally pointless "Morons of the week" shit.

The way he talks about his AH "strategy" is just total garbage. One dedicated QA user with no life and a little bit of initial investment could shut him down entirely. He has no real knowledge of QA, he doesn't put competitors on friends lists, and he rarely checks his auctions all that often.

Bravo Gevlon, I think you're the worlds first retarded goblin.

Anonymous said...

I really don't think this is a add on issue but rather a marketing strategy. Let me explain a few things .
A few facts.
QA is superior in posting time.
QA is easier to setup.
QA is a group tool(bulk)
AUC show trends.
AUC is a the individual glyphs level.

While AUC can be manipulated and in return become a sophisticated tool. I don't think most of our AH users have the truly knowledge to understand marketing trends(kids) and such entities. I think most of the AH sellers is about a quick sale and making sure they sell and not consider how much work went in the manufacturing process.(AH watching, reposting,crafting/milling etc)

since the time to craft is constant i will not go into that, however if you craft/mill to break even and you continue to do it i must wont about your rational behind you marketing strategies. I don't anyone the will craft and sell at cost and stay in the market for any length of time. This the aim of the Goblin.. making sure you (if) you stay in his market you are doing it will low gold/hour profit (in any profit at all).

Now to Gevlon, where i think he miss the mark is comparing the tools used and not the motivation(types of sellers) behind it.

QA can be used as effective as Auc with the exception of market trends and glyphs at the individual level.
I can still control a market by not allowing the market to reset and yet causing other to post at a loss or low profit using QA. The only issue is that finding trends need to archived through other means. This is the purpose of the statistical tool like AUC or other tool.

In the end if you wish for true profit per hour, it depends on a couple of factors ..
The rapid under cutter will have to be on a server where no golbin using trends and low profit margin exists.I am ok at 30% above cost.. this will ensure that if there exists a lot of rapid under cutter the price will soon reach negative ROI and soon the market will not be attractive.
Here is the money shot, this can be achieve by either tools, sorry Gevlon, its not the tool that matter.

Anonymous said...

In business theory, the 1 copper undercut strategy leads to higher profits over a deep undercutting strategy.

In AH practice on my server, the 1 copper undercut strategy gives me about 10-25K a week.

Gevlon's system may work better for him - but I like my returns as they are.

Anonymous said...

'Gevlon is essentially a goblin scrub. His only saving grace is he is the person that he coined the phrase "goblin" to those dedicated to making money in WoW. Most of his money was made exploiting the relatively unknown potential of Inscription in the earlier days of its release.

Now he lives off of this partial fame, by blogging about pointless, random pseudo-philosophic garbage to fill his equally pointless "Morons of the week" shit.'

This. There's a new dictionary definition of 'Insightful'

I came to this blog maybe 4 days ago after reading about it a few times on 2 other blogs (1 blog was a worshipper the other a hater). Go home folks, nothing to see here.

Ben Kennedy said...

"The fundamental fault of the QA2 game is being more work intensive. I lose less time by selling for low than my competitors, so I can go deeper in price."

Your price is orthogonal to time spent - whether you posted low or high, your post time is fixed

"My work-overhead is decreased by batching."

Same is true for an undercutter

"Logging on 10 times a day cost time itself along with the annoyment."

Later in your post you mention "active time hours, excluding long auctioneer posting or clicking the mailbox once a minute while cleaning my home". Well, that's what undercutting like - wander by the keyboard, hit a button, wander back, hit a button. It does not seem fair to claim that posting is not "active time" according to your strategy, but it is somehow the central defect of a different one (even if it multiple time per day)

"Me on the other hand can schedule the crafting session to the moment when it's less painful and have enough offline stuff available to decrease time lost."

Again, true for undercutters as well.

As far as I can tell, your objection to undercutting is that you don't want to be that loser who logs in ten times a day. Consider your sarcastic verbiage:

"The aim when fighting with QA2 wizards is not stopping them from selling. You can't do that anyway without being one of them.", "pro ppl", "Most of them are desperate kids", "they will waste all the time they have (and they have a lot) to undercut you"

You have a serious mad-on against these people, and you've been psychologically compromised - I think you are unwilling to lift your gold/hour because it was increase the profits of these people as well

Okrane S. said...

omg Gevlon... seems like the MMO Champion Nabz have started to read ur blog... and comment on it...

My head hurts from the remarks these kids post here... better troll filter plz!

Ball said...

Using Gevlon's idea that AFK time doesn't count, and the only goal is gold/hour then a lot of variables fall out or reach negligible levels. I don't totally agree with that assumption, but let's run with it and see what happens.

Reposting/Collecting mail:
Auctioneer: 1 button push
QA: 1 button push

Milling/Inks:
Auctioneer: 1 button push
QA: 1 button push

Crafting/queueing:
Auctioneer: manually selecting the glyphs in the profitable range, 1 click per glyph type
QA: Automated queueing up to selected stock level for every glyph with 1 button push

This would leave QA slightly in the lead on time/glyph, though I suppose you could code the same tools to work with auctioneer and autoqueue to cancel that out.

Since (using Gevlon's assumption) a single button push is a negligible time, the only variable left is profit per glyph.

cmill said...

Gevlon,

Seems as if your main argument is that you spend less time in your method than someone using QA reposting... lets say 2 or 3 times a day (that's what I do currently).

I am 100% sure that I spend less time crafting and posting 2 or 3 times a day than you do crafting and posting once every 48 hours.

Why? Because I automate my entire crafting choice process. I use KTQ and ensure I have at least 1 of every glyph. This cuts down 30-45 min at least.

Secondly, I use another mod (forgive me I'm at work and can't remember the name) that auto refreshes and checks my mail so I can do this AFK.

I probably only spend 1 1/2 hours every 2 days, and I'm able to post 4 to 6 times during that time frame.

Anonymous said...

@Goth

QA will already ignore auctions that are bid only.

It will just ignore then when collecting data during a post/cancel.

The thread you are reading already states this.

Savaril said...

In my opinion, Auctioneer and QA2 are just 2 tools. They both have advantage and weakness.
The flaw of Actioneer is that it relies on the median price. While I agree with Govlen that the median price reflect the value of the glyph, it can be screwed. If some one post one of every glyph at rediculously high price, the median price will lose its meaning.

Roboticus said...

Help me understand something about the argument here. On my server (yes i think conditions can vary between servers), there are roughly 30 QA goblins, 20 Gevlon style posters, 10 that seem to have no pattern or logic at all but just like crafting 1000 glyphs, and the normal mishmash of 20 levelers/casuals.

Arguing about a strategy is all fine and good, but when there are 10 or more people playing EACH of the strategies, profits are divided among many people no matter how you play it.

I've tried all of the above posting strategies including Camping (I didn't care enough to win), the 48-hour cycle (I literally sold 2 glyphs because there was never a point when the market got back to my level) and many variations of manipulating other sellers. This has been over about 9 weeks of experimentation. All of the strategies work, except for the fact that there are so many individuals trying to play the game that there's a new entrant as soon as someone leaves.

I'm really beginning to suspect Gevlon's unsubstantiated assumption that his strategy works on any server is bunk. If I had more wow time, I would love to start a NEW experiment where other goblins are encouraged to go to Gevlon's server and see if his Truisms hold up in the presence of numerically large, non-idiotic competition.

Okrane S. said...

median != mean.

You really need to learn your math here.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Median
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mean

The median is a very robust estimator...especially to the kind of noise you speak ok

Okrane S. said...

@ roboticus

do you actually think that a magic strategy which makes your profit sky high exists in a highly concurential market?

Competition drives the prices down, and diminishes the profit of competitors. That's how it has been forever.

If 20 intelligent people work in the same market, your 20k/week profit from when you were all alone in that market becomes 1k/week. Simple as that.

The advantage Gevlon is talking about is that you spend little time while still being competitive. Imagine using that 1c undercut on your market, only to be undercut 1minute after. Talk about a waste of time...

So what do you do... well... you try to work as little as possible while also being present on the market. A 48h post seems like a good deal to me.

RLWJR said...

This may be obvious to many, but it isn't to me....

I use Auctioneer. I keep reading everyone referencing pricing based on "Median". In the screenshot, Gevlon has his undercut pricing based on "Market". Is everyone using the terms "Median" and "Market" interchangeably?

Okrane S. said...

Isnt the market price the median of prices seen in the last x days?

Lite said...

@Okrane

First of all kudo's for derailing this thread by yelling out "kids", "n00bs" and whatever you figured was appropriate to make your opinion solid!

Second of all I disagree with Gevlon _always_ being apparent in the glyph market if he only posts every 48 hours. If he meets someone who has as much patience as him but lists his glyphs twice in 48 hours instead of once, Gevlon would be invicible and make zero profit from his glyphs.

Using his "tactic" only works if you're positive that sooner or later the competition gives up, sells the remaining of his glyphs and moves on to another market. And I'm just not sure that's a valid tactic on all realms.

RLWJR said...

@Okrane If I remember the Auctioneer documentation, I believe "Market" price is a conglomeration of the different pricing models.

It is explained at:
http://wiki.norganna.org/Market_Price

Roboticus said...

Okrane, I agree! I'm arguing exactly that--that if there are 20 other intelligent people playing your strategy (and further there are ~20 people playing any other feasible strategy), then your profit will be divided by 20.

What I disagree with is Gevlon's (highly marketable) claim that his strategy will work on ANY server. The information Gevlon has given about his pricing strategy is enough to conclude that on my server, at least 20 people would be dividing their profits with him. Actually, I think I just might log on to Gevlon's server and dig up some stats on number of goblins there.

And regarding becoming more profitable by spending less time, there's only limited value in that (outside of bragging rights). If I wanted the highest gold per hour, I would log on for 1 second and sell one thing to an NPC and have 50k gold per hour. Income over real-time is what matters more in most circumstances, as gold/hour doesn't buy what you want.

Sidhe said...

Nice post, Gevlon!

However I still don't know if I can apply this strategy to the Jewelcrafting market.

Gevlon said...

Median price fixed.

Those who defend QA2 are not trolls, since it is the topic of the post. They CAN disagree.

RLWJR said...

Thanks Gevlon.... Wasn't trying to be an ass, just trying to make sure I was on the same page!

Dar said...

I have used both Auctioneer and QA2. I like QA2 for it's speed and minimalist approach/feel. But, I have come to see the fault in using QA2 for the glyph business(before Gevlon posted). As stated before, the problem with QA2 is the fallback mechanism, which just invites more and more competition. Price resets makes everyone work harder(by posting more times/day). I am unwilling to work for less then what I can make from doing dailies.

So I have used the skills available to me and branched off QA2 to make it post based on the market median price(I get the median price via AuctionLite). I have been using my branch of QA2 for about a week and it is beginning to drive prices down.

Lets see how long my competitors stay in the market.

William said...

Gevlon, your strategy is also gambling.

You are gambling that if you keep the prices low enough, eventually other glyph sellers will leave the market.

You are also gambling that all the glyphs priced lower than yours will sell out within the 48 hours that you've posted.

And then you're gambling once again that a buyer will buy your glyphs before another QA2 poster undercuts you.

If there are enough QA2 posters on your server with low enough thresholds, you will never sell any glyphs, or at least barely sell any.

I'm really curious Gevlon, you keep talking about your sky-high G/hour. How much do you actually make these days?

jeroen said...

Gevlon a few things I pikced up, your only goal seems to be a maximum gold/hour ratio, while atleast some of the commenters here are alot more interested in profit/timeframe

and as you said and I want to emphesise this because I think some people are missing it " QA2-undercutter makes more gold than I do on the same market

also if you are just talking about a gold/hour ratio, what would happen if the qa2 poster set his threshold to his minimum gold/hour goal? ie

mats price=m
gold/hour=g
time spend in hours making a glyph=t

threshold=m+(g*f)

this way he'll be making his minimum gold/hour he wants( so he won't quit because he won't thinks it's to low) and if the price is below that he won't post so he won't have to do extra work

(disclaimer I'm not an economy but a physics student so I might be missing things)

MyName said...

Ugh, this holy war about QA2 vs. Auctioneer is BS. Auctioneer is plenty fast enough if you're only posting in 24-48h periods, especially their latest version which handles posting much better, and QA2 can be configured to do (roughly) the same thing, from what I can tell. The issue is AH 1c camping versus 48h posting deep price cuts.

The only reason Gevlon is talking about QA2 is that, if the nubs doing the 1c AH camping were forced to use Auctioneer, they'd probably stop this strategy because there'd be a chance that by the time Auctioneer was done, there'd be someone else already undercutting them.

Also, their approach would seem a little crazy to the price setter part of auctioneer and they'd actually have to wrestle with the interface sometimes.

My main issue is that, on my server at least, you can't make this kind of money on glyphs anymore. Partly because of other Goblins and partly because demand seems to be a fifth of what it was (dual specs FTL?).

It's gotten to the point where I'd rather do dailies as at least those give rep and you can get a cool pet from the tournament.

Green Guts said...

I think a great deal of controversy comes from a dislike of you, Gevlon - and not necessarily a dislike of your strategy. In fact, there has been very little (from what I have seen) analytical data to suggest that your strategy is any stronger than the QA2 strategy. I will begin testing your method next week once I've gathered enough scan data. At which point I will track daily amounts of gold that I make in order to see what value it holds, compared to what I make with a little-more dedication via QA2. I will also be trying to track amount of time spent crafting, milling, and posting in order to give more accurate figures.

Sven said...

I thought I'd add my own experiences to the list here, hopefully with some numbers to back them up.

Until last month, i spent a long time following what might be called the "pure Gevlon way", using Auctioneer + v.similar pricing on a server with an extremely competitive glyph market (4 long standing sellers, including me, plus a whole bunch of aggressive post-MMOC newcomers).

Most of the newcomers left within a few weeks in the face of the existing competition, but 3 stayed, making 7 people posting heavily in total. Judging as best I can, all but one of those are now using QA with various settings and one is still using the Gevlon auctioneer model.

My current tactics are as follows:
- don't create glyphs worth less than 5g on the spot market (i.e. QA prices, rather than Auctioneer)
- undercut by 50-60s (I vary it from time to time just to annoy people trying to outguess me)
- don't post any glyph with a current price less than 2.5-3g (again with random variations to inconvenience my rivals)
- post according to QA spot-market pricing, rather than auctioneer, with a fallback of 35-40g (again randomly varied)
- post 3 times per day

My average income per day using Gevlon's tactics was around 200g. My average income per day using my revised tactics is approximately 1000g (although with massive variations from around 250g-2000g). In pure gold/elapsed day then, there is no competition: the revised tactics win hands down.

In terms of gold per hour of activity, it's a little more complex. First of all let's take the simple approach and count all the time spent posting and making glyphs. Previously I was selling around 50 glyphs per day at an average of 4g profit each. Now I'm actually selling an equal number, but at an average profit of 20g each. Due to differences in efficiency between the two means of posting, I've roughly tripled the amount of time I need to spend with the new approach, but I've multiplied the profit by a factor of 5, so that's a net gain in gold/hour.

If you use Gevlon's preferred approach of discounting the automated actions such as batch posting or mail collection, the time ratio is down to about 1.5 comparing the old to the new.

To sum up:
Gold per day: new method is 5x better
Gold per hour (counting all time): new method is 1.7x better
Gold per hour (discounting auto-posts): new method is 3.3x better

Is this a universal truth? No - others are revising their tactics too and the best response will probably vary over time, but right now the new way is working better than the old.

Jeff said...

This post has the exact opposite effect of many of Gelvon's philosophical posts. His tool is slower but dynamic, yours is faster but static.

Gelvon, I suspected that QA2 explained some of my recent loss of income, and now I am convinced. I am returning to the "slow" Auctioneer method. Why? because it allows me to control fluctations more tightly, and sell for a closer to optimum price.

As to the guy who says opening mail once a minute and doing other things at the same time is equivalent to farming and saying you "got your mats for free". You are dead wrong, I am accomplishing an in game goal and an out of game task at the same time. Therefore my Gold per hour (GPH) is higher than if I am camping the AH.

Anonymous said...

Gevlon, where do you get all these trolls from ?
@ Sven do you think we are stupid or that we don't understand what you have written?
First you say that there is a goblin on your server. If this is true how is hell do you sell 50 Glyhps at 23G average price bull shit, All you guys a using Rapid under cutter techniques.

True goblin will never allow you to enjoy such happiness and price reign. Come now if a goblin cannot sell no one can We don't reset market price.
I don't think most people understand what Gevlon is saying, and its true intent. Its design is total market control or total control of a section,not to compete with others. Rapid Under cutter is all about competition.As i said earlier its not an addon issue but rather a marketing dilemma.( I still believe Gevlon method if done right will yield better result over time(unless another goblin is in the Mix) could all the QA rapid under cutter come to my server so i can show them how its done.

Lite said...

Sven I use the _exact_ same strategy as you do, i've never made 2000 in one day though. Im sure it will happen once my competition realize Im gonna keep dominating the market.

Sven said...

@Anonymous

"First you say that there is a goblin on your server. If this is true how is hell do you sell 50 Glyhps at 23G average price bull shit, All you guys a using Rapid under cutter techniques."
How? I can't know for sure why it happens, but my suspicion is this: because they are basing their glyph-making decisions on the auctioneer median price, they are missing spikes in the price of certain glyphs which are generally low in price. These are very common when lots of people are using QA, as others effectively reset the price for me (one of my rivals resets to almost 80g, for example, so I only have to steal one of his sales to make a fat profit. The thing about using QA is that there is far more variation than with auctioneer: the values I noted were averages but, as I noted in my first post, there is huge variation. It's also possible that some of my more aggressive rivals are trying to buy out the goblin to drive prices up. I'm happy to exploit their foolishness.

A third possibility is that the Goblin is working with too small a float of glyphs, so many of theirs sell out in the 48h period, leaving others to make profit until they repost.

Why do I believe this one player is using Gevlon's approach? Because I still have auctioneer installed with all my old settings (although I don't use it for glyphs these days). Their prices are a pretty good match to the prices I used to use.

@Lite
Weirdly, the minimum and maximum profit days were consecutive. 2k on Sunday, but 200 on Monday. If there is a pattern to it, I can't work it out. Maybe all my rivals just happened to take the day off simultaneously by chance. Most of that money was made in a 3h period whilst I was out at the pub, so I have no idea what was going on!

Anonymous said...

No. its not gambling. wow doesn't allow what is really gambling in economics. This is simply selling at a lower price.

What gambling is is borrowing property and selling it at current market price and then later gambling the price will be significantly lower when you have to give it back. Otherwise known as short selling.

Gambling is paying for the option to buy at a certain price, or taking insurance on a bad asset.

None of these things in the real world can be done in wow.

As long as it is buying and selling its not gambling as long as you understand what you bought and sold.

Ball said...

@Jeff

As to the guy who says opening mail once a minute and doing other things at the same time is equivalent to farming and saying you "got your mats for free". You are dead wrong, I am accomplishing an in game goal and an out of game task at the same time. Therefore my Gold per hour (GPH) is higher than if I am camping the AH.

I agree with you on the first point, afking is not the same as farming. However, the campers can AFK just as many tasks as the goblins, so your second point doesn't neccesarily follow.

Haterade said...

QA2 is awesome for posting fast. It's awesome for blindly undercutting a market in order to drive out competition.

But QA2 is not smart. We can all agree that QA2 can be gamed in a situation where you have a large market share.

As I took over a larger market share, a guy came along and drove down my prices to my (low) threshold and buy them out with the intent on relisting.

Although I was still profiting, I had to go about crafting more stacks before crafting day came to keep up with his buyouts -- his fake demand was creating more work on my part, and I got tired of being his supplier. This guy doesn't even craft glyphs! So I decided that was enough.

Three options:
Raise Threshold--
My main competition regularly goes below threshold; since QA2 is retarded and won't post anything in this case, it doesn't help to raise the threshold.

Enable autofallback--
No. Autofallback fails because it ignores everyone who may still be posting above your threshold and below your fallback.

Use Auctioneer instead of QA2 to post--
I considered it, but I post hundreds of glyphs at a time; I NEED the posting speed of QA2 so I can actually go have fun in the game.

So I went and tweaked QA2 to be smarter. Now instead of completely skipping auctions with competitors that go below threshold, it will simply ignore them and overcut at a smarter price that is still competitive while keeping the window of opportunity for competition to a minimum.

It will still fallback in the absence of competition, but that's OK for me because I don't have a stupidly high fallback.

Anonymous said...

As an experiment, for one 48 hour session I decided to use gevlon's style of posting with auctioneer. I had accumulated a month of data on glyphs, which I felt was sufficient for getting a good "market price".

As I have been using QA2 to queue up glyphs for crafting and personally found it easier to replenish stock by maintaining everything at a specific stack size, I threw everything that said "cannot undercut" or too far below my personal threshold (50% profit) into the bank. With what remained on 3 bank alts, I went to post.

48 hours later, I had sold next to no glyphs, and had allowed my two main competitors a complete monopoly on glyphs that auctioneer deemed worthless. I had less market coverage, sold fewer glyphs, and ended up with 1/5 my normal income. I don't think allowing my competition to reap the profits on "worthless" glyphs discouraged them at all.

If I had more money and inks in the bank, I would definitely be willing to give this posting style a shot in the long run, but alas, I do not. It would be interesting to see what would happen to the market if Gevlon set up shop here.

Aaron said...

There is really only one point I would argue here. I wont attempt to debunk your numbers as I am not nearly so meticulous in terms of tracking my server's economy (Lightbringer-US). However I do question your psychological evaluation of the MMO inspired QA2 under-cutters.

"There is no way that someone can keep up his determination with no profit, nor even the chance of profit."

Really? I think you under estimate the tenacity of stupidity. Given that one can generally break even buying herbs and selling Snowfall ink on the AH before even crafting a glyph, the cutoff price for profit from glyphs is about 50s. Granted these profits are minute, but it's enough that for a mere 5k or so any scribe can—and many seem to be willing to—indefinitely maintain a glyph market at sub 2g prices. You seem to be arguing that no rational person would continue to do this with no reward. I humbly submit to you (and I think you'll agree) that a player who compulsively camps the AH for hours on end simply for the endorphin rush of selling a glyph for 2g45s94c just to stop somone else from selling one for 2g45s95c is not a very rational person.

Perhaps in a month or so the market for Snowfall inks will finally collapse and then they'll all go away. In the mean time, I think I'll level my alchemist and wait it out....

Anonymous said...

I can't comment on which is better because I've never tried the QA2 method. I just want to thank Gevlon. I've basically been using his method for the past 4 weeks or so and it's been working for me, but I only post about 400 glyphs or so. I'm not trying to reach gold cap or see how much I can rake in per hour or even weekly. I just needed an easy way to make gold so that I could continue to raid during school. I was HORRIBLE at making gold before I started to read Gevlon's blog and others like his.

I've noticed a few AH campers who undercut constantly, and I was skeptical about how I could continue to make a profit. I thought that surely they were making more than me. But now I am almost positive this is not the case, and I'm pretty certain I've pissed quite a few of them off because I continue to keep them from posting at high fallback prices or making as as they'd like per glyph. I saw the biggest AH camper in Trade chat offering people 50g to sign his guild charter which he named I Sell Glyphs you Dont. Sure, I don't sell the glyphs that are below my threshold, but I do eventually find a time to sell them. If he means his competitors don't sell any at all, well... my inbox says otherwise! I'm also amazed that I've been selling a few of the DK glyphs consistently for 28g for weeks now, so it appears that I'm selling glyphs he doesn't. :)

Anonymous said...

How can you sell glyphs if you are getting undercut. This is the one thing that baffles me, if there is someone posting below you 10-15 hours of the day, then how are your glyphs ever the only ones posted?

Sven said...

" How can you sell glyphs if you are getting undercut. This is the one thing that baffles me, if there is someone posting below you 10-15 hours of the day, then how are your glyphs ever the only ones posted?"
I don't know the answer to that one if they are doing that continuously (perhaps from an account made for that purpose). In my case, my rivals appear to be posting roughly as often as me, so on average I have around an hour of being the cheapest before someone reposts. I suspect I make most of my profit in that golden hour. If that window were to be reduced to 15 minutes, I'd expect to see my profits per day fall, although the profits per hour of work would fall less, as I'd be crafting fewer glyphs. It's possible that the Gevlon approach of driving prices to the floor would drive such posters out, but I don't see why they couldn't return a few weeks later.

That's all speculation, though - I haven't been in that situation to test my theories. If anybody has and has come up with good tactics, it would be interesting to hear.

Anonymous said...

I think many of you comparing strategies are missing one point. Gevlons strategy does not take over market in week or two. Especially not when there are others dedicated to the market. I came to glyph market for only 1 reason. I want darkmoon faerie exalted for me and my wife. That's over 4000 darkmoon cards with 1 snowfall per stack of herb and about 6 ink of the sea it's about 144 000 glyphs crafted as byproduct in the long run.

I'm trying to use his strategy for about 3 maybe 4 weeks for now as in the begining I was experimenting a bit. Now prices are really low. About 2 weeks ago I've spoke with one of my competitors. I wanted to be his supplier instead of competitor to cut my glyph and all the Ah proces time. He is leaving this market as prices are allready "broken". Now 2 weeks later he is still posting at 50-1,5g per glyph. My conclusion is that he is getting rid of his glyphs at any price now, our server is just low pop and this takes a lot of time. I think at least 4 more weeks for him to leave market (based on experience how much glyphs I'm selling when he takes day off). So in total it's over 2 months to drive out competition. My gold per week is really low - somewhere around 2-3000g. With per day income from 50g to 800g.

Anonymous said...

"If they keep undercutting you, they are making sales for practically zero profit and must continue to buy herbs, mill, and craft to keep up with the demand. Meanwhile, in this situation, gevlon's work would be to retrieve unsold glyphs from his mailbox every 48 hours."

What I don't think you understand is "practically no profit" is still profit. Just retrieving all his unsold glyphs from the mailbox because he couldn't sell any due to the undercutters actually costs gold because of the listing fees. Even though glyphs cost very little to post if you don't sell any then you are still losing money.

Sven said...

"I think many of you comparing strategies are missing one point. Gevlons strategy does not take over market in week or two."

I know that is the intention of the strategy. What I have my doubts about is whether it would actually work against non M&S opponents.

Yes, you can drive out the "get rich quick" people with short attention spans like that, but against intelligent opponents? Sure you can drive the prices down so that the profit/hour is less than you'd get from dailies and cause others to stop posting, but what do you do then?

Carry on at the same prices and waste time that would be better spent on dailies just to prove that you ow n a market?

Raise prices? In that case what's to stop your opponents from coming back? They already have the set-up needed to mass-produce glyphs and probably have a large stockpile of (currently unsold) glyphs, so the re-entry barrier is almost zero.

Ultimately the goal of the true Goblin should be to make money, not to "win" by owning a worthless market.

Terah said...

lol @ comments

KILL AND ATTACK! *evil laugh*

mike said...

maby i missed it, but can you do a post, or refer to the post where you explain exactly how you set up your Auctioneer from fresh install of the mod?

I have been using QA and i use to use Auctioner, i switched to QA for the faster posting, but there are so many under cutters with QA on my server now that a price can go from 20g (my fallback) to 5g in a day.

I tried a low selling technique, which brought prices way down for a while, and i made more sales, but less profits over all (maby not enough volume) im interesting in trying out auctioneer again. but i left it initial becuase of slow post times, the database getting bloated, median prices being way off from current market trends (even with daily scanning), and just the general slow down on the game it put.

thanks

CaptTuna said...

It is like gambling. Talk to a gambler a gambler and all they remember are their "wins" and never the losses. They only talk about the day they hit big and not the day they covered the cost of going to the casino and brought home rent money. They only have to sell one at 50g and they are hooked.

goth said...

Anonymous said...
@Goth

QA will already ignore auctions that are bid only.

It will just ignore then when collecting data during a post/cancel.

The thread you are reading already states this.

03 November, 2009 16:30



Hopes are dashed. Camper still camps so price remains low. Well it was a nice thought, but in the end nothing changes.

Ben Kennedy said...

Sven said

"I know that is the intention of the strategy. What I have my doubts about is whether it would actually work against non M&S opponents."

This is corrent. One of the "features" of the 48-hour deep undercut strategy is that it allows you do dominate a dead market with little work. However, it is equally little work for the frequent undercutter as well, as they can take a 48 hour vacation.

More likely the frequent undercutter will still undercut the marginally profitable glyphs, and start posting high when the at-production-cost glyphs sell out, so they will usually come out ahead.

Anonymous said...

Ben, that doesn't make sense when the undercutter can just undercut and repost glyphs that are sold out of his stock several times while Gevlon is waiting for his 48 hours to expire. That is why that strategy can never work on any semi-competitive server. I could say with no hyperbole that I could eat Gevlon alive if he tried that on my server. Since the costs of manufacturing glyphs are pretty much the same for everybody a AH camper can sell for as low as the long term poster. The strat really makes no sense.

Ben Kennedy said...

"Ben, that doesn't make sense when the undercutter can just undercut and repost glyphs that are sold out of his stock several times while Gevlon is waiting for his 48 hours to expire. That is why that strategy can never work on any semi-competitive server. I could say with no hyperbole that I could eat Gevlon alive if he tried that on my server. Since the costs of manufacturing glyphs are pretty much the same for everybody a AH camper can sell for as low as the long term poster. The strat really makes no sense."

Perhaps I was not being clear - I agree with you. My point was that a supposed benefit to the deep undercut strategy is that it is time efficient. You can shut down the market and walk away for 48 hours.

My counterpoint is that a dead market is equally time-efficient for the competitor who also has nothing to do for 48 hours. It's not like you're working for 2 hours, while your competition works for 20 hours and gets frustrated and leaves the market. In fact, a lazy competitor does even less work than the flooder, as they don't even have to make glyphs. Though an industrious competitor will still make some cold.

Anonymous said...

I think the advantages to having the amount of data that auctioneer can bring to the table is a strong tool, however, is it worth the afk time to get the data or not. While you're afk you can't farm mats, play your main, etc...

To me anytime that is spent online goes towards your G/hour. I only have one account so if I'm on I can't play any other toon until I log off. Hence yes afk time is still time spent away from time you could play the game.

I've done this pricing strat for several weeks and it seemed to work. I got some nice returns but it is fairly complex and not easy. I think it's success rate varies with your set up time and amount of time you have to be in game.

Using QA2 like a noob works well for me. I don't sell my glyphs under value and I can get good returns depending on the market. I'm not a camper I post once per day if that. I will lay off the market for half a day to raise demand if needed.

I am on a medium server though so demand probably isn't as high but neither is supply.

All in all I would say depending how much time (including afk time) you want to put into this depends on which pricing strat you should take. The "n00b" QA2 way works with minimal time spent online but the auctioneer way is certainly more predictable from my experience but at a cost of being online afk longer...

Green Guts said...

I will first admit that I don't often find myself reading your philosophical posts Gevlon - but I must admit, as I have been a guild leader on several occasions, this post rings quite true with me.

Anonymous said...

Camping the AH is only time consuming in the sense that you have to do it at specific intervals. The actual process is just firing off QA2 and wait.

Well, why wait? You could just play another char on a second account.

I happily raid and during those little breaks, like buffing, waiting for the next boss, boss transition phases etc., I can move my mouse over and fire off another QA2 cancel run.

When I'm not camping the AH, the second account holds several twinks I can play together with a main.

So what do I gain for an extra $10 a month? The ability to boost my own twinks with my main and about 80k of gold.

Try finding a gold seller that sells 80k for $10.

So you can camp the AH and still not waste time. Win-win.

Anonymous said...

amazing read,
I demand more

Justin said...

Yes, I know I'm late to this party...

Anonymous: "Ben, that doesn't make sense when the undercutter can just undercut and repost glyphs that are sold out of his stock several times while Gevlon is waiting for his 48 hours to expire. That is why that strategy can never work on any semi-competitive server. I could say with no hyperbole that I could eat Gevlon alive if he tried that on my server. Since the costs of manufacturing glyphs are pretty much the same for everybody a AH camper can sell for as low as the long term poster. The strat really makes no sense."

Just think for a second. If Gevlon makes 200 glyphs that cost 2g/each to make and he's selling them at 2.9g (to drive out competition), then anyone who undercuts him, will have to sell them for ~2.8g to beat him. Doesn't seem like a big deal, right? however, why would this person continue to camp and undercut if they're only making 160g profit for every 200 glyphs they sell?

The idea is to keep their workload the same (that is, very high), but drive their profits down. While Gevlon may not be selling any glyphs, he's losing only 30silver every 48 hours AND he's not having to craft anymore glyphs. So, he's losing about 1g/week, but he's also making it less and less profitable for someone to stay in the market. He could even take the price down lower and eventually the undercutter would likely decide to just drop out of the market because he's putting a LOT of time into it and getting barely any ROI (return on investment).

Unless the undercutter adopts a goblin strategy, he will likely move on to other things that have a better ROI.

Crowtin said...

Hello. Kind of an old post but I found your blog recently and have been reading through it. I agree with much of what you say.

My only question is what happens if 12 goblins use the same pricing method as you? Or 50?


You mention MMO champion making QA2 so popular and this is important to touch on. When a few people know a good money making strategy it can work for a long time (ie: 50g glyphs, I'm sure the author ran that to the gold cap and could have done so a few times if he desired). Why? It was relatively unknown at the time. But what happens when MMO champion runs that article on the front page and gets say, 200,000 people reading that article? I pulled that number out of thin air of course but you get the idea. All of a sudden every WoW server has 50 people trying to setup an inscription factory at 50g glyphs and the undercut wars begin.



Lets say, you post this article or something like it. Someone essentially steals your idea and writes an article for MMO champion. Or even say this blog keeps growing exponentially and soon every gold tip you give out is replicated by 20 kids on each server.

Could your strategy dry up badly if 20 people priced and ran a business the exact same way on a server?

Anonymous said...

I find it kind of funny to read through all this. The point is, there is not one I WIN strategy. So if it works for Gevlon, it's not sure it works for you. If something works for you, it's not said to work for Gevlon. That's the whole point, and it's why posting his pricing method was pointless. It's server dependant. You can't just take it and apply it on your server. The conditions on YOUR server are probably a lot different then Gevlon's.
Whatever tool you use to execute your strategy is up to you, as you know the strategy and can decide witch one works better for YOU.
Gevlon has a strategy that works for HIM. He never claimed it worked for anyone.

I know this is an old post, just wanted to make a comment anyway, as none of the above guys seems to get this.